An island that offers the quintessential idyllic Greek escape, you’ll encounter glorious coastlines, stunning inland landscapes and colourful and vibrant towns throughout your Santorini holidays, exposing you to one of the most fascinating destinations in Greece. Discovering this island will see you discovering the heart and soul of Greece and its culture, with charming villages and towns exposing visitors to the cuisine, friendly welcomes and architecture of the country, wherever you choose to reside on the island.
Miles of rambling landscape and brightly-painted dwellings create a dreamlike vision of this beautiful island, as you stroll through its picturesque cobbled streets, absorbing beautiful sights and authentic flavours. There are so many things to do during your holidays to Santorini, from cultural and historical discovery to beach break indulgence, ensuring endless variety to your holiday, and while Athens sits just a short ferry ride away, you’ll find Santorini is also one of the most accessible Greek islands.
Village Life and Traditions
With a stunning vision of white and blue, the houses of the town in Firostefani provide an endlessly picturesque location to make your base during your time on the island. Modern 5-star hotels and cosy places to stay can be found here, some with the added bonus of an incredible sea view. While the vistas provided by the coast are memorable, often the most striking of views during Santorini holidays are the precariously perched houses climbing up the face of a dramatic cliff. This is the view that will meet those staying in the traditional and authentically-Greek villages of Oia and Fira, peering out over the ocean as a sea of whitewashed splendour.
You’ll always find yourself immersed in that quaint and infectious Greek charm, wherever it is you choose to base yourself in Santorini. Whether you’re looking for secluded charm and idyllic locations or black-pebbled beaches and plenty of things to do for the family, you’ll find your perfect spot to call home during your holidays in Santorini. Those really looking to immerse themselves in culture and history should opt to stay in the beautiful coastal town of Kamari, with accommodation interspersed with Greek ruins and glorious beaches – allowing an ideal balance between discovery and coastal indulgence.
Ruins, Beaches and Food
Stretches of sandy beach seduce sun-worshippers and water sports fans, while charming Greek towns offer delicious dining and lively nightlife opportunities, serving holidaying families and couples after a fulfilling experience of Greece. Santorini’s coastline is understandably a draw for many holidaymakers. Stretches of sun-drenched beaches offer ideal spots for topping up your tan during Santorini holidays, as well as snorkelling, scuba-diving and many other water sports. Revel in the beauty of the coastline with a day cruise along the island’s littoral towns, taking in the spectacular beaches of the small resort of Oia on your way and catching a glimpse of Ios.
If you can drag yourself away from lazing on the beach, Santorini’s historical attractions are well worth a visit. As well as the fascinating Ancient Thera, the beautiful Minoan city ruins of Akrotiri make for an incredible insight into the island’s past, excavated from three stories of volcanic ash – a must-visit on your Santorini holidays, before heading back to the sand to work on your tan.
If you’d rather be at the heart of the action during your stay on Santorini, you’ll love the many festivals that occur throughout the area. Amass with the colour of vivid blooms and extravagant street processions; the island becomes a hub of celebration during these times. Take a trip to the small town of Monolithos at the end of July to witness the festival of Agios Ioannis for an authentic glimpse Greek culture on your holidays to Santorini, or simply sit back in a lively bar by the sea and sip on ouzo as the sun sets – that’s cultural too right!?
The highlights of this volcanic island are sure to be its breath-taking sunsets, variety of beaches, and romantic atmosphere. From aquatic adventures to ancient sites, there are a multitude of things to do in Santorini to entertain all from the historian to the newlywed couple. Santorini is home to one of the most famous archaeological sites in Greece, Ancient Akrotiri, and the most unique landscape – not many other islands have their very own volcano. Santorini makes for one of the most romantic islands in the Aegean, and a holiday here will not disappoint.
Wine and Dine
One of the top Santorini attractions is the island’s local sweet white wine. Produced by vineyards on the main island of Thira, this sweet wine is perfectly paired with watching the sunset from the rooftop terrace in Firostefani or an after dinner treat with sweet meletinia in calming Kamari. Make sure to try delectable dishes made with Santorini’s fresh cherry tomatoes and capers, and the savoury fava dip prepared in the regional Santorini way. Bustling restaurants and gyros shops can be found in the capital of Fira, while seaside tavernas in Perissa and cliff face restaurants in Oia have an air of calm, in addition to delicious food.
Action and Adventure
One of the more active things to do in Santorini is to explore the parts of the island separated by the 236BC eruption. Take a cruise around the volcanic islets and go ashore on Thirasia, the second largest island of Santorini, or an excursion to the remnants of the volcano in the centre of the islands. On the beach side of Thira, there is always the ever popular snorkelling and kayaking that explores Santorini from the sea and under the water. For a thrilling view of the islands, take a helicopter flight and soar to new heights.
There’s nothing more romantic than sipping some sweet wine in a hot tub with your partner while watching the sun set over the Aegean. Complete a couple’s wish-list of Santorini attractions with a visit to two of the island’s most popular draws: the wineries and the hot springs. The wines are some of the most distinctive in the Mediterranean, and there are several vineyards to visit on the main island. The hot springs are along the active volcano and provide a thrilling yet relaxing time on holiday in Santorini. Hear from local guides about the supposed powers of these natural baths and take a few panoramic shots before exploring the crater. To complete the perfect romantic retreat, take a short ride to the village of Oia and pick a spot to watch the vibrant yet seemingly endless sunsets from the cliffs. A rooftop restaurant will also do just fine!
Once thought of as the site of mythical Atlantis, Santorini is actually home to a number of archaeological sites and museums. Recently reopened to the public after refurbishment, the covered site of Ancient Akrotiri is like a playground for culture vultures and definitely a highlight of things to do in Santorini. The site was first excavated in 1967 and revealed three-story buildings, furniture, and paintings covered in volcanic ash from a Bronze Age eruption. On the other side of the island, Ancient Thira is a settlement that was home for the island’s inhabitants from the 9th century BC to Roman and Byzantine times. Check out the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira for an air-conditioned look at the treasures of the island. For more recent history and art, pay a visit to the Megaro Gyzi Museum for an exhibition of photographs after the 1956 earthquake.